Marist Softball Falls to First-Seeded Canisius

Going into today, the Marist Red Foxes were riding high off a decisive win the day before against the Rider Broncs. Today on a hot, sunny afternoon, the Marist Red Foxes were faced with a daring task having to go up against the number one team in the tournament, the Canisius Golden Griffins. Despite beating them twice on their home ground in early April, the final outcome was different this time as Canisius won 5-2. 

Starting on the mound for the second day in a row was Marist senior pitcher Calista Phippen. Although Phippen battled and threw a complete game, Canisius got on the board early. Phippen gave up four of the five Griffins’ runs in the first inning. 

Sophomore third baseman Destiny Falquez got the scoring started with an RBI single up the middle, driving in the first run of the game, giving the Griffins a 1-0 lead. Then with two outs in the inning, graduate student first baseman Lindsi Dennis singled through the right side, allowing pinch runner freshman outfielder Julissa Garcia to score from second, making it 2-0 Canisius. After giving up a walk, which put runners on first and second, junior right fielder Sophia Recrosio delivered a double to left center field. She scored both runners and gave the Griffins a rousing 4-0 early lead. ​

The Red Foxes would respond in the second inning as they started to cut the deficit. Sophomore Alyssa Grupp smoked one to deep right field for a two-out triple. Next up was junior catcher Meghan Davis who drove in Grupp with a single up the middle making the score 4-1. 

Marist would answer again in the fourth inning as Davis came through with a towering double with two outs over the reach of the right fielder, allowing pinch runner freshman infielder Ronni Howard to score from first. This cut the Canisius lead to just two runs at 4-2. 

The last run of the game was added in the bottom of the fourth inning by Canisius. After junior designated player drew a walk to lead off the inning, she was able to move from first to second on one groundout and second to third on another. 

With two outs in the inning, graduate student shortstop Caroline Baratta– fresh off her second straight defensive player of the year award– made an uncharacteristic errant throw to first base that pulled freshman first baseman Maddie Gore off the bag. This allowed pinch runner freshman infielder Sage Alfaro to score from third and gave the Griffins a 5-2 lead. 

In the fifth inning, the Red Foxes were in position to continue to cut the Canisius lead. Senior left fielder Hailee Jantorno led off the inning with a base hit into center field. The next two Marist hitters both traded fielder’s choices, resulting in back-to-back outs. With junior center fielder Sam Freeland on first, Barratta sliced one into right field and allowed Freeland to go all the way to third while Baratta reached second base. 

The Red Foxes were knocking on the door and had a chance to add another run to the scoreboard. Sophomore third baseman Miah McDonald, recently named first team All-MAAC, gave the ball a ride, but it was caught by sophomore center fielder Christie McGee-Ross. 

The sixth inning was rather uneventful as the Red Foxes would have one last chance to erase the 5-2 lead Canisius was holding. The inning started with Jantorno reaching first base on an errant throw. The next two hitters, junior right fielder Shea Walsh and Freeland both came up empty-handed. Baratta once again answered the call as she blooped one into right field, moving Jantorno to third and Baratta found herself at second again. 

Similar to the fifth inning, McDonald found herself with runners on second and third, and a chance to keep the game alive. Unfortunately, McDonald was unable to redeem herself as she popped up to second to end the game. 

Despite the tough loss, Marist head coach Joe Ausanio was not discouraged from the performance his team gave. “It just didn’t seem like things bounced our way today, but I did not feel like we were outplayed today at all,” said Ausanio. He mentioned the emphasis on the Red Foxes needing to come through with a timely hit when they have runners on base, which is something they failed to do against Canisius. 

Tomorrow, the Red Foxes are back at it to play their third game in three days, as they will be taking on the number three seed Siena Saints tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN+. Marist faced off against Siena earlier in the season, sweeping them in a doubleheader with ease. They won by a combined score of 16-3. The big question is whether or not Ausanio will trot out Phippen for a third day in a row as he was undecided on who would be starting in their next game. 

Edited by Ricardo Martinez

Photo from Stockton Photo

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